You may remember reading that Crystal Palace made a last-minute Deadline Day bid for Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker in January, only to be knocked back by the Belgian club’s board. Well now, it seems as though he may have been given the green light to leave them over the summer.
Following long-term interest from West Ham, the man himself was said to be gutted at being denied the chance to leave during the last window, having spent nine years at Anderlecht as both an academy prospect and a fully-fledged professional. Still only 22, the Belgian international has totted up 155 appearances and 10 goals for his current employers but is desperate to move on and elevate his career to the next level, ideally in the Premier League.
The above report makes reference to the sale of fellow midfielder Youri Tielemans to AS Monaco during the summer of 2017 as an event that made a big impact on the mindset of Dendoncker, who was understandably frustrated to see his teammate get a big break whilst he was forced to stay put.
This January, with Anderlecht well off the pace set by Club Brugge at the top of the Belgian First Division table, the club’s Director of Football rebuffed both ours and West Ham’s advances for Leander, telling the press that he “didn’t want to get lynched by the club’s fans” leaving the undoubtedly talented midfield man stuck in limbo over thoughts of his long-term future.
Luckily, there now appears to be a “written promise” in place outlining Anderlecht’s willingness to sell Dendoncker in the summer window; news that will likely see Palace return with another bid for him, if they manage to retain their place in their Premier League beyond May.
After being drawn in the same World Cup group as England, there is a chance we may see Leander going up against Gareth Southgate and co. out in Russia, with an eye-catching performance sure to see his price-tag sky-rocket. In an ideal world we’ll get a deal wrapped up long before then but judging by our approach in recent transfer windows, I wouldn’t hold out much hope of a speedy negotiation process.